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The first film adaptation of the often filmed Mary Shelley story. This film was originally released on March 18 1910.
From the Edison Kinetogram:
Frankenstein, a young student, is seen bidding his sweetheart and father goodbye, as he is leaving home to enter a college in order to study the sciences. Shortly after his arrival at college he becomes absorbed in the mysteries of life and death to the extent of forgetting practically everything else.
His great ambition is to create a human being, and finally one night his dream is realized. He is convinced that he has found a way to create a most perfect human being that the world has ever seen. We see his experiment commence and the development of it. To Frankenstein's horror, instead of creating a marvel of physical beauty and grace, there is unfolded before his eyes and before the audience an awful, ghastly, abhorrent monster. As he realizes what he has done Frankenstein rushes from the room, only to have the misshapen monster peer at him through the curtains of his bed. He falls fainting to the floor, where he is found by his servant, who revives him.
After a few weeks' illness, he returns home, a broken, weary man, but under the loving care of father and sweetheart he regains his health and strength and begins to take a less morbid view of life. In other words, the story of the film brings out the fact that the creation of the monster was only possible because Frankenstein had allowed his normal mind to be overcome by evil and unnatural thoughts. His marriage is soon to take place. But one evening, while sitting in his library, he chances to glance in the mirror before him and sees the reflection of the monster which has just opened the door of his room. All the terror of the past comes over him and, fearing lest his sweetheart should learn the truth, he bids the monster conceal himself behind the curtain while he hurriedly induces his sweetheart, who then comes in, to stay only a moment. The monster, who is following his creator with the devotion of a dog, is insanely jealous of anyone else. He snatches from Frankenstein's coat the rose which his sweetheart has given him, and in the struggle throws Frankenstein to the floor, here the monster looks up and for the first time confronts his own reflection in the mirror. Appalled and horrified at his own image he flees in terror from the room. Not being able, however to live apart from his creator, he again comes to the house on the wedding night and, searching for the cause of his jealousy, goes into the bride's room. Frankenstein coming into the main room hears a shriek of terror, which is followed a moment after by his bride rushing in and falling in a faint at his feet. The monster then enters and after overpowering Frankenstein's feeble efforts by a slight exercise of his gigantic strength leaves the house.
When Frankenstein's love for his bride shall have attained full strength and freedom from impurity it will have such an effect upon his mind that the monster cannot exist. The monster, broken down by his unsuccessful attempts to be with his creator, enters the room, stands before a large mirror and holds out his arms entreatingly. Gradually, the real monster fades away, leaving only the image in the mirror. A moment later Frankenstein himself enters. As he stands directly before the mirror he see's the image of the monster reflected instead of his own. Gradually, however, under the effect of love and his better nature, the monster's image fades and Frankenstein sees himself in his young manhood in the mirror. His bride joins him, and the film ends with their embrace, Frankenstein's mind now being relieved of the awful horror and weight it has been laboring under for so long.
This movie is part of the collection: The Video Cellar Collection
Director: J Searle Dawley
Producer: J Searle Dawley
Production Company: Edison Manufacturing Co
Audio/Visual: Silent, b/w
Keywords: Early film; Silent films; Frankenstein; Thomas Edison; Charles Ogle
Creative Commons license: Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0
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Subject: J Searle Dawley
still owes me five bucks
Subject: Worth a view for historical reasons
This has very little in common with the book, as is the case with most Frankenstein adaptations. However, it's interesting as an example of very early filmmaking. The print is, understandably, awful.
Subject: 1910 Amazing!!!!
Obviously one of the first stuntman and stuntwoman since the Actor and Actress did their own stunts. Also the camera angle in the mirror was extremely inventive for that time. BUT most of all running the film backwards to make the Monster was pure GENIUS!!!!
Subject: a VERY liberal adaptation
That said, what can you expect in less than 15 minutes? The quality is as good as one can expect from something 100 years old. This might be good for making a mashup video for Halloween.
Subject: 1910 Frankenstien
Until now I could never have believed that this story could have been made into a love story.
completely without sense of rapprouchement with the author, who would no doubt be appalled by the singular lack of effort at hiding contrivences in acting, balance of story line, special effects and relation to art, any sense of time or place, as well as any flair for the drama of the whole.
but that won't stop you.
Subject: In Comparison
At first I was going to pass on this because I figured after looking at the other upload that's already here I wasn't counting on seeing anything new. But I decided to check it out and I'm glad I did. This is quite different from the other in one respect and it's the fact that the other has some tinting and this one's plain black and white. Visually, I like this one better. Now if we could get someone to put up "Life Without Soul", the OTHER pre-Karloff Frankenstein, then life would be complete.